Starknet Vision

Eli Ben Sasson

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What follows is an attempt to answer the question: “What is Starknet’s mission and vision?” The answer, which evolved over several months of discussions, represents merely the authors’ personal views. (The authors are Manor Bareli, Eli Ben-Sasson, Tom Brand and Ilia Volokh, sorted alphabetically by family name.) To clarify, the document does not reflect the official position of StarkWare, nor that of the Starknet Foundation. We hope it will help foster discussion of this important topic in the Starknet ecosystem. We thank Abdelhamid Bakhta, Sylve Chevet and Diego Oliva for their comments on an earlier draft, and seek further comments and suggestion from the Starknet community.


Social functions such as money, management of property rights, and social status titles, are protocols and registries whose value necessitates maintenance of broad social consensus regarding their integrity. Nowadays, social functions are commonly administered by centralized bodies that are inherently susceptible to problems of agency, corruption, and exclusion

With Bitcoin, Satoshi invented a new way to implement social functions, which we define and generalize, calling it an integrity web. An integrity web is any infrastructure for social functions that:

  • is defined by a protocol, the full description of which is publicly available to all
  • is implemented over a broad, open-to-all, peer-to-peer network of operators, and
  • distributes value automatically, broadly and fairly to the operators for the purpose of maintaining social consensus regarding integrity of the system.

Bitcoin, the first integrity web, implemented money alone. Ethereum then became the first integrity web able to support any social function expressible by computer programs. Bitcoin and Ethereum face tension between the capacity to serve all (“scale”), and the broadness and openness of the underlying peer-to-peer network (“decentralization”). Integrity webs typically prioritize openness and broadness over scale and capacity, so that individuals with limited computational means can verify the integrity of the system. As such, these integrity webs cannot fulfill worldwide demand.

starknet definition

Starknet is an integrity web with (1) the capacity to serve all and (2) the integrity backed by maximally broad social consensus. Starknet uses a mathematical approach to resolve the tension between capacity and broadness. Starknet’s integrity is enforced with the mathematical rigor of succinct and transparent proofs of computational integrity. This approach allows arbitrarily powerful operators to increase Starknet’s capacity, while empowering all individuals to verify the integrity of Starknet (and its powerful operators) by commonly available means.

Starknet’s Mission

Starknet’s mission is to allow individuals to freely implement and use any social function they desire.

Starknet’s Values

Starknet’s definition and mission entail core values for its ecosystem.

  • Lasting Broadness. Starknet should strive, in structure and actions, to defend itself and the social functions implemented on it from the human tendency to concentrate power, control, and authority. In particular:
    • Starknet’s legitimacy stems from the broadness of its power distribution. This broadness must be maintained for the operation of Starknet and any decision making processes governing it. Centralized operation and governance may be tolerated for concerted efforts, and must be time-limited from inception.
    • Starknet’s protocol and governance must be public and transparent.
    • Starknet should be governed in a way that supports broadness, including checks and balances between different institutions, and should allow modification of the governance structure over time, for the purpose of maintaining and preserving broadness.
  • Neutrality. As an open platform for all social functions, Starknet will maintain neutrality with respect to the social functions implemented on it.
    • The goals and values of social functions implemented on Starknet, and the responsibility for them, will be those of their creators and communities.
    • Censorship resistance. The Starknet protocol should be oblivious to the content and semantics of transactions that individuals wish to perform on it.
  • Individual empowerment. Starknet’s integrity requires a broad ecosystem of informed and sovereign individuals. Starknet and its community will strive for individual empowerment by cultivating a culture focused on its mission and values, especially through education.

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